Then came YouTube and its annotating feature. Remember "I love the 80's" on VH1? This is what YouTube provided, the ability to include pop-ups in my videos. The YouTube annotation option has been available for some time. Unfortunately, I have not seen it used very frequently in the classroom. Teachers can take a video and re-emphasize key points with pop-ups. Teachers can provide links to additional video tutorials about a subject, allowing students to essentially choose their own adventure. Teachers can spotlight parts of a the video. Teachers can enhance the students' experience in ways not available a few years ago.
If you can see it, read it and hear it, the point should be driven home. Each video that I make now has pop-ups for each point I want to emphasize. It is not uncommon for me to have one every minute. With students' attention span somewhere south of five minutes, I found by adding these pop-ups helps to keep students' attention as well as emphasize key points.
Choose Your Own Adventure
The other trick I enjoy using is the annotation that has an attached video link. Now teachers can provide students the option to click on different videos within the video. If students do no understand a topic, they can quickly and easily jump to another video, either created by me or someone else. Recently, I was in a predicament where I had to differentiate instruction for six grade levels in five different buildings for a teacher inservice at the same time. Thanks to YouTube, I was able to provide teachers with information that pertained only to their grade level. Click here for to see what I did.
All of this can seem complicated. I know I thought it was until I tried it. YouTube annotations are simple and easy to use. When you have a chance, explore YouTube beyond today's hot cat video. There are other tools to use with Youtube, but the annotation feature is definitely a tool teachers should throw in their resource bag that will assist in their instruction.
Click here for a video instruction on how to add annotations to your YouTube videos.